The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Feral Cat Colony Crisis Pits Environmentalists Against Humane Groups

'This is unacceptable behavior for dog owners. Why is it OK for cats?' asks Grant Sizemore, a conservation biologist with the American Bird Conservancy.

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — Marian Parker pulled her small Hyundai into the parking lot of an Upper Marlboro, Md. strip mall and started her daily mission.

In the cluttered back seat, rested an empty cat cage, several bags of dry pet food, and cases of 22-ounce 'Paws and Claws Turkey and Giblets' dinner cans.

Parker comes daily to feed a colony of about 20 feral cats.

The animals live in a trash-filled, muddy, no-man’s land in the forest behind the shopping center along the banks of the Western Branch near the busy intersection of Routes 301 and 4.

Parker and others have set out overturned plastic storage tubs filled with flea-infested straw in the muddy woods to shelter the cats. Holes are cut in the plastic for the cats to enter.

To read more on this story, click here: Feral Cat Colony Crisis Pits Environmentalists Against Humane Groups


Octopus Sucked Onto Woman's Face And Wouldn't Let Go As She Tried To Eat It Alive

A young Chinese video blogger known as 'seaside girl Little Seven' recently announced plans to eat a live octopus on her live-stream. However when she lifted the squirming animal up to her mouth, it fought back, planting slimy tentacles against her cheeks. With the creature's suckers stuck to her skin, the woman squealed in pain, and struggled to free herself from its grip.

A 50-second clip from the livestream was published on Kuaishou, China's popular short video platform. The footage begins with the octopus stuck to the girl's face. "Look how hard it's sucking," she remarks, according to The Daily Mail's translation. When the pain sharply increases, she freaks out and cries, squealing "Painful!" and "I can't remove it!"

To read more on this story, click here: Octopus Sucked Onto Woman's Face And Wouldn't Let Go As She Tried To Eat It Alive


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Why Do Dogs Sniff Each Other’s Butts?

Every dog owner knows that dogs sniff each other’s butts.  It probably isn’t the most pleasant sight to witness, but it’s just a dog’s way of life.  There are a few reasons why dogs sniff each other’s butts and it really boils down to their sense of smell and communication.

Dogs smell each other when they first meet

When two people meet, they evaluate body language, facial expressions and tone of voice to quickly assess each other.  When two dogs meet, they don’t say hello or shake hands like we do, but they will gather lots of information from each other’s body language. When two dogs meet, they usually walk in circles while scrutinizing each other’s demeanor and posture. Are their ears back? Is their tail wagging?

Dogs use their acute sense of smell to get a an assessment of the dog they’re meeting

Dogs use their keen sense of smell, along with a visual assessment, to get vital information about a new canine acquaintance. The chemical aromas identify gender and mood, and can even communicate what a dog likes to eat. By simply smelling, a dog can determine if a new friend is male or female, happy or aggressive, healthy or ill. Dogs get a general idea about each other with a quick sniff, but get more detailed information by getting up close and personal and that’s where the butts play a part.

The video below, from the “American Chemical Society’s Reactions series” explains this whole butt smelling communication!

To read more on this story, click here: Why Do Dogs Sniff Each Other’s Butts?


Why Do Cats Put Their Butts in Your Face?

Cat lovers know all the quirky traits of our favorite felines.  One of the more perplexing behaviors is when you are sitting down, waiting for your kitty to curl down next to you, but instead your cat puts her butt in your face!  And while we humans would never do this to each other, there are a few reasons why cats might put their butts in your face.

Cats put their butt in your face as their way of saying hello!

Cats raise their tails as a sign of friendliness and trust, allowing us full access to all of the intimate, olfactory details about them found in their scent. Turning around makes that invitation even clearer.  Smell is so much more important to cats so inviting us to check them out is just a friendly hello!  The butt in the face is their way of trying to be nice, not naughty!

When cats greet each other, they usually sniff each other’s faces

When greeting each other for the first time, cats sniff each other’s face and neck as an initial greeting. This is pretty similar to nodding a greeting to a stranger at first meeting. Cats produce cheek pheromones that signal friendship, so sniffing this area can actually help calm feelings of aggression or fear.

To read more on this story, click here: Why Do Cats Put Their Butts in Your Face?


This Man Makes Everyone Smile When He Walks With His Pack of German Shepherds Unleashed (Video)

Augusto Deoliveira shared this video of him walking his pack of German Shepherds in public. All five dogs are unleashed and walk in a group, close beside him. What the video doesn’t tell is the story behind the dogs he’s walking with.

He wrote, “This video features Savannah on the left (not quite a year old at the time). Griffin next to her (almost 2). The one behind me was a rescue dog (3 years old) who came to me with no training or socialization of any kind, she was very sweet but not confident She had numerous health problems and to me this is amazing of how she was doing after only a couple of months of training, given the fact that she never left her small kennel ever!”

“Then Hannah (she came to me at 2). I did all the training with her. She is very confident. The one on the far right is another rescue who was tied on a leash outside day and night, even in the winter. She had just a tiny dogs house. She was in very poor shape when I got her. She had no training and again was not confident. Although those 2 [rescue] dogs will never to be 100% they are way better in this video than when I rescued them. They both have found great pet homes since then.”

“The other 3 still live with me. This video is 2-years-old and was filmed in the winter in a very cold day if you didn’t notice.”

Since the video went viral, Augusto has received many comments from people claiming the dogs were trained by shock collars or abuse because the dogs were not wagging their tails. But Augusto said this is simply not the case. “I know how much training and energy I put into these dogs to train them, and whether you use shock collars or not its not that easy to do this. I use my body language to let the dogs know I want them to walk close to me.”


Meet Bindi, The Cat Who Detected Breast Cancer In Her Owner

Bindi's story was one of the Most Incredible Story category finalists in the National Cat Awards sponsored by Verdo Cat Litter.

Bindi had always been a laid-back, gentle and sweet-natured cat, so when she started acting strangely one day, owner Valerie Lubbock knew something was wrong. Asleep on Valerie's lap, little Bindi, who was adopted from Crawley, Reigate & District Cats Protection, reached up, pushed her paws into her owner's chest and stared at her directly in her face.

It was so out of character it was the incentive Valerie needed to go for that check-up.

Within three weeks, Valerie had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone a life-saving mastectomy.


This Adorable Looking Animal is a "Slow Loris": But It Can Kill Humans

YouTube sensation the slow loris might look adorable, but it can kill humans... and we are killing them out in return.

It’s was the latest YouTube sensation in 2012: a small, furry creature with huge eyes and arms raised above its head is being tickled.  More than 12 million people have watched this and another film of a similar animal holding a cocktail umbrella. Many of those probably thought ‘What a lovely creature, how cute’.

Professor Anna Nekaris is a Professor in Anthropology and Primate Conservation studying the unique group of evolutionary distinct primates known as the Asian lorises. You can read more about her HERE.

Professor Anna Nekaris: It breaks my heart. The animal in the films is a ‘slow loris’, a nocturnal primate from Asia, a close cousin to monkeys. I’ve spent almost 20 years studying them and I know just how cruel those films are.

Sad tale: Primatologist Anna Nekaris with a slow loris which is illegally on sale in the market in Indonesia.

Misleading: The YouTube video of a loris 'being tickled' (left) has been seen by 12 million people - but it is endangering the lives of lorises in the wild (right)

Yes, they are beautiful animals but they are not in this world to perform tricks on the internet - they’re not even suitable as pets.

They are venomous, the only primate to be so, and are known as the ‘jungle gremlins’ because of their benign appearance coupled with a flesh-rotting poison, which can be fatal to humans.

Although evolution has given the slow loris some unique attributes, like so many other species, nature alone cannot protect it from all the 21st century threats.

Their natural forest habitat is disappearing at an alarming rate, the use of them in traditional Asian medicine continues to decimate the population and now, thanks to YouTube and other internet sites, exacerbates their demand as exotic pets, putting them at huge risk.

I went undercover with a BBC film crew in Jakarta, Indonesia, to find out the extent of the shocking trade in these wonderful but shy animals. What I saw reduced me to tears.

The loris first emerged as a distinct lineage more than 40 million years ago. Unlike similar primates it can’t leap at all – its tail is reduced to a stub but instead has an extraordinary vice-like grip by which it manouevres Ninja-like through the trees.

In its natural habitat, high above the ground and shrouded by the darkness of night, it makes rapid and elegant progress from branch to branch.

Wide-eyed wonder: The slow loris is a beautiful animal, but they are not in this world to perform tricks on the internet - they're not even suitable as pets.

But on the ground it feels ill at ease, and under bright daytime light is insecure, unsure of itself and vulnerable. Its movements become unsteady and, well, slow. Hence, the less than flattering name.

Apart from its extraordinary grip it also has a powerful bite, able to chisel through the bark of trees and even bamboo.  It sounds not unlike a woodpecker when it’s feeding, using its two tongues to extract gum, syrup and nectar from the vegetation.

It also consumes insect larvae and even small bats and lizards.

In turn, the slow loris can fall victim to pythons and orang-utans but the biggest threat is, of course, mankind. And that threat comes in several forms.

The slow loris lives in the trees – it needs forests to survive. Yet in the parts of the Asian world that is its natural habitat the forests are disappearing at an alarming rate. On Java, the main island of Indonesia, there is only 10 per cent of the forest left and here the slow loris population is falling at a terrifying rate. In one of Java’s best-protected forests, we came across only six wild animals in a whole year.

One of the great misfortunes of the slow loris is that it is much sought after in traditional Asian medicine. Known as the ‘animal that cures 100 diseases’ it’s widely used in traditional healing remedies in China, Laos, Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Add to that its popularity as a pet in Asia and it’s new fame in the west and you have the elements of a major onslaught on the loris population which could drive it to extinction.

But that is no concern of the people who work in the live animal markets in Java.

Danger: Slow lorises are venomous - the only primate to be so - and are known as the 'jungle gremlins' because of their benign appearance coupled with a flesh-rotting poison, which can be fatal to humans.

Heart-breaking: Nekaris with a box full of slow lorises - when she was searching for the animal in the wide they only saw six of them in a whole year.

They were healthy and had their teeth, they were good candidates for release back into the wild - it broke my heart to leave them there when it would have been in my power to set them free. But buying them would be wrong on so many fronts. I would never buy an animal in a market because it just promotes the sale of them. The second any foreigner buys an animal the traders think: ‘Oh, we can sell them to foreigners’ and the trade escalates.

If I had bought them, he would have just got four more. The moment he sells one he just replaces it. The whole trade is just so sick. The ‘catchers’ make around 25 pence for a slow loris, the traders then sell them for £25. But international trade can see a single slow loris being sold for between £900-£1,800.

Everyone who has seen the film we took in the market has cried. But this trade is made even more heartless by the fact that the slow loris is not even a suitable pet – far from it. It sleeps all day, it smells worse than a whole box of rotten eggs and on top of that it can seriously harm you.

It is the only primate in the world that is poisonous thanks to a dark fluid released from a gland above its elbow which, when mixed with its own saliva, becomes toxic.

We are studying the reasons why they may have this - the classic explanation is that it is predator defense - although this is now in dispute with other theories being that it makes them unpalatable and so protects themselves and their young.

In the wild: One of the primates in its natural habitat.

Not pets: The animal only has a stump of a tail but has an extremely strong grip.

The effect of the poison is to cause wounds to fester – it works as an anti-coagulant. The necrotic effect means that the tissue dies and the flesh rots. Another theory suggests they may have venomous glands as a way of destroying rivals over territory - they do attack other slow lorises who then die a slow death.

The danger to humans is generally an allergic reaction, in some cases their bites have triggered anaphylactic shock and death.

Even if the reaction is not that severe the bite alone from the razor sharp fangs of a slow loris is excruciating, and I should know I have suffered a few bites myself – always on my fingers.

That’s why the slow lorises sold as domestic pets have their teeth ripped out first. It’s cruel and unnecessary because they shouldn’t be kept as pets at all.

Yet, the new interest in the animals generated by the internet and the films on YouTube produce a stream of inquiries on forums asking if people can get one as a pet.

The correct answer is: you can’t. Or at least, you shouldn’t be able to, because the trade in them is illegal.

The YouTube films create the impression that the slow loris is a cute domestic animal.

So let’s demand YouTube take these cruel movies down from the internet and allow the slow loris to return to the darkness of the forest.


Farmer Thinks Cow Is Pregnant With One Calf But During Labor The Babies Keep Dropping To Ground

On May 24, 2018, Chuck and Deb Beldo welcomed a truly rare phenomenon on their farm in.

So rare, in fact, that it only ever happens in one in 11.2 million cases!

“I’ve been around cows my whole life, and I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Deb told CBS Local.

One of the cows on their farm got pregnant for a third time. Her previous two births were to single healthy calves.

To read more on this story, click here: Farmer Thinks Cow Is Pregnant With One Calf But During Labor The Babies Keep Dropping To Ground